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Jon Entine is the founding director of the independent foundation funded Genetic Literacy Project. He is a senior fellow at the World Food Center Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy at the... Read More »

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Jon Entine is executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project, where this article first appeared.

A new phase in the Gene Wars is about to beginthis time focused on the nexus of genetics and economics.

Nature carried a provocative article last week laying the ground work for what should be a fiery debate over the nascent field of genoeconomics. The prestigious American Economic Review is set to publish a peer reviewed paper co-authored by two economists, Quamrul Ashraf and Oded Galor, that argues that a country’s economic well being could be linked to the population’s genetic make-up.

Bumbling coverage on phthalates underscores how activist journalism endangers ‘public science’

Last year, campaigning journalist Susan Freinkel noted that she wrote her anti-chemical book, Plastics: A Toxic Love Story, because she was shocked about how much modern society relied on plastics. In her mind, “synthetic materials” equated with poor health, pollution and western gluttony. 

The European Food Safety Authority has weighed in with its assessment of the maize study by Gilles-Eric Séralini and his research team at France’s University of the Caen, which purportedly showed that rodents fed a strain of genetically modified corn with Monsanto’s Roundup Ready developed tumors and died.

Fifty years ago, marine biologist Rachel Carson ignited the modern environmental movement with the publication of Silent Spring. It was an ecological alarm call – an attack on what she believed was the overuse of pesticides and the potential harm they might cause to humans and wildlife – and a call for a progressive, science-focused view of modern agriculture and food.

Her deeper, ecological message is often overlooked by her most ardent supporters. It should be front and center as Californians prepare to go the polls in November to decide the fate of Proposition 37 – which could introduce mandatory labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods into the United States for the first time.

Led by 100-meter world record holder Usain Bolt, Jamaican men swept the sprinting events at the London Olympics. It was a stunning feat for the small Caribbean nation. But as part of a broader trend, it’s hardly surprising. Runners of West African descent are the fastest humans on earth.

For decades, a bushel of developing countries—Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Kitts, Barbados, Grenada, Netherlands Antilles and the Bahamas in the Caribbean and Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Namibia in western Africa, as single countries, have each produced more elite male sprinters than all of white Europe and Asia combined. Yet West African descended runners are laggards at the longer races.